Ten films not to miss in 2014

From arthouse thinkers to popcorn-pimping blockbusters, 2014 looks to be another massive year for movies

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We’ve already caught a glimpse of 2014's most buzz-worthy flicks here at Time Out.  While we eagerly await their arrival, relive 2013’s the cinematic glory by reading our film reviews of some of the year’s biggest flicks like 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and Gravity.  Here’s our preview of ten films we think are going to blow us away off in 2014.

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  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The tantalizing talent:
    Writer-director Wes Anderson and a cast of associated loonballs including (but not limited to) Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and, of course, the irrepressible Bill Murray.

    The promising premise:
    In the titular hotel sometime in the mid 1920s, concierge Fiennes strikes up a friendship with bellhop Tony Revolori, a bond that will see them through hard times including being accused of murder and having to go on the run. After a rocky patch in the 2000s, Anderson’s last two films, The Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, showed him back in top form, and there’s no reason to believe that trajectory won’t continue. The trailers are funny, strange and fascinating—pure Wes, basically.

    When’s it out?
    March 7, making it the perfect antidote to those dark days of sludgy late-winter.

    Read more about The Grand Budapest Hotel

  • Godzilla

    The tantalizing talent:
    Stars Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Happy-Go-Lucky's Sally Hawkins.

    The promising premise:
    You have to ask? Giant lizard smashes stuff, havoc ensues. Let’s face it, Roland Emmerich’s 1998 reboot of the Japanese monster series didn’t exactly set the world on fire (in any sense), so here’s a chance to get back to the roots of what Godzilla is all about: less chatty-chatty, more smashy-smashy.

    When’s it out?
    May 16, kicking the blockbuster season off with a bang.

    Read more about Godzilla

  • Carol

    The tantalizing talent:
    Director Todd Haynes, novelist Patricia Highsmith, screen couple Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. Now that’s what we call quality.

    The promising premise:
    Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, wasn’t the first to openly address lesbian issues, but controversy arose over the book’s ending, which implied that its two central characters, wife and mother Carol and outsider Therese, might actually live happily ever after. There’s surely no better director for this material than Haynes (Far from Heaven), whose eye for period detail and the nuances of social interaction is unparalleled, while Blanchett is on a roll following her remarkable turn in Blue Jasmine.

    When’s it out?
    There’s no release date set, but expect it late in 2014—right around awards season.

    Read more about Carol

  • Inherent Vice

    The tantalizing talent:
    One of America's top directors, Paul Thomas Anderson, stars Jena Malone, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and many more—plus, let’s not forget revered novelist Thomas Pynchon.

    The promising premise:
    In 1970s LA, a pot-smoking private dick (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. But frankly, it could be about the adventures of a man reading the Yellow Pages and we’d still line up for this, Anderson’s first since The Master. Expect dazzling visuals, whip-cracking dialogue (Anderson’s script reportedly has the blessing of Pynchon himself) and a general air of beautiful decay and end-of-an-era ennui.

    When’s it out?
    There’s no release date set, but it will surely play at a major festival such as Cannes or Toronto, before arriving in cinemas in autumn 2014.

    Read more about Inherent Vice

  • Frank

    The tantalizing talent:
    Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, stars Michael Fassbender, Domnhall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

    The promising premise:
    If there’s a stranger movie premise this year, we’ll eat our giant papier-mâché heads. It's a story based on the adventures of northern England's weirdest comedy export, punk-inspired monster-headed stand-up Frank Sidebottom. Sidebottom’s creator Chris Sievey died in 2010, and this is an attempt to pay tribute to a truly unique creative mind.

    When’s it out?
    May 2, though we’re still not totally convinced we haven’t dreamed the whole thing.

    Read more about Frank

  • Gone Girl

    The tantalizing talent:
    Director David Fincher, bestselling novelist Gillian Flynn and cast members Rosamund Pike (finally getting a proper starring role), Ben Affleck and the ever-wonderful Neil Patrick Harris.

    The promising premise:
    In Flynn’s rip-roaring novel, a husband (Affleck) goes in search of his missing wife (Pike), and turns up a lot more than he bargained for. But while we did enjoy the book, we’ll admit to being slightly disappointed that Fincher has chosen to follow The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with yet another pulpy crime thriller, particularly when his last three original projects—Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network—showed a fine director becoming a truly great one. That said, this is bound to be pulse-racing.

    When’s it out?
    October 3, just as the cool starts drawing in.

    Read more about Gone Girl

  • Interstellar

    The tantalizing talent:
    Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan and a raft of stars including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, John Lithgow and the great Ellen Burstyn.

    The promising premise:
    Fanboy-favorite Nolan is sure to set a few geeky pulses pounding with the premise for his first post-Bat feature. The plot is still tightly under wraps, but we know that it’s about a group of scientists who discover a wormhole allowing for interplanetary travel. It may also involve time-hopping and multiple dimensions. The cast is stunning, the setup sounds killer. Let’s hope Nolan can inject it with some life, rather than the frosty cleverness of Inception.

    When’s it out?
    November 7—just have a friendly teen remind you (again).

    Read more about Interstellar

  • Snowpiercer

    The tantalizing talent:
    The Host director Bong Joon-ho, a magnificent cast including Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and Chris Evans.

    The promising premise:
    In a frozen postapocalyptic wasteland, the only thing moving is the Snowpiercer, a sealed train housing the last vestiges of humanity—rich at the front, poor at the back. Hey, allegory! This Korean-French-American co-production has actually been released in the first two of those territories, and has been hailed as a classic, while the handful of critics who made the trip came back raving (in a good way).

    When’s it out?
    There’s no release date set, and with co-producer Harvey Weinstein proposing a shorter cut for the English-language market, will we ever get to see Snowpiercer as its director intended? Still, there’s no chance we're missing it.

    Read more about Snowpiercer

  • Tammy

    The tantalizing talent:
    Melissa McCarthy, her co-writer, director and husband Ben Falcone, plus a supporting cast including Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass and the magnificent Allison Janney.

    The promising premise:
    The outline sounds like a pretty typical Hollywood comedy: Jobless Tammy (McCarthy) finds out her husband has been cheating, and decides to take her alcoholic granny (Sarandon) on a road trip. But, after Bridesmaids and The Heat, McCarthy is on one hell of a roll, and we’re intrigued to see what she’ll come up with as a writer. Can Sarandon do broad comedy? We’re about to find out.

    When’s it out?
    July 4—the perfect day for McCarthy to declare her independence.

    Read more about Tammy

  • Exodus

    The tantalizing talent:
    Director Ridley Scott and an army of thespian talent including Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro and we’re guessing roughly 10,000,000 digital extras.

    The promising premise:
    "Let my people goooooooooooo…" Yes, in this year of Noah, Pompeii and Hercules, the big daddy of historical epics is most definitely this megabudget Biblical barnstormer from the Gladiator man himself, Ridley Scott. Now, we’re not entirely convinced about the whole sword-and-sandal thing—Gladiator was great, but it’s been downhill ever since—yet if anyone can pull off the kind of spectacle, special effects and grandeur the Moses story requires, it’s Scott. And Christian Bale as Moses? Yeah, okay, we’ll buy that.

    When’s it out?
    December 12, right before Christmas, and only a week before a certain hairy-toed threequel struts onto the scene.

    Read more about Exodus

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The tantalizing talent:
Writer-director Wes Anderson and a cast of associated loonballs including (but not limited to) Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and, of course, the irrepressible Bill Murray.

The promising premise:
In the titular hotel sometime in the mid 1920s, concierge Fiennes strikes up a friendship with bellhop Tony Revolori, a bond that will see them through hard times including being accused of murder and having to go on the run. After a rocky patch in the 2000s, Anderson’s last two films, The Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, showed him back in top form, and there’s no reason to believe that trajectory won’t continue. The trailers are funny, strange and fascinating—pure Wes, basically.

When’s it out?
March 7, making it the perfect antidote to those dark days of sludgy late-winter.

Read more about The Grand Budapest Hotel


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